In a media interview held at Eunos ward of the Opposition Aljunied GRC, Minister of Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli openly equated taxpayers-backed funding of the People’s Association to that of the ruling party PAP. Minister Masagos also proudly claimed that even though Aljunied GRC residents voted for the Opposition Workers’ Party, they have also been reaping benefits from programmes made possible only by the PAP.
“Aljunied GRC residents have continued to benefit from programmes and services run by the People’s Action Party, despite being under opposition hands. Their focus is to bring services the People’s Association(PA) brings to residents all around Singapore.”
The People’s Association (PA) is a local political community organisation directly under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Although the PA is a statutory board, it’s personnel appointments of PA is appointed only by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and hence Opposition Members of Parliament are the only exception who are disallowed to be PA grassroots adviser. In Singapore, Opposition MPs have no access to tax-funded resources of PA, while the ruling party candidates could freely use the taxes to fund programmes which are in turn proven very useful during election campaigning period. Under Singapore law, such blatant political abuse of tax-funded programmes is not a corruption.
PAP candidate for Aljunied GRC Chua Eng Leong who was appointed as the grassroots adviser said he has been serving Aljunied GRC residents after the 2015 General Election:
“We run a dementia programme, as we have an ageing population here. We have a group that does this on a regular basis. We also distribute food packs on a monthly basis. The other programmes that we want to do are targeted at assistance for needy families.”
Singapore remains one of the top non-corrupted countries in the world and has only remained so as corruption has been consistently reviewed and legislated into law.